Columbo: Season 5, Episode 2

A Case of Immunity (12 Oct. 1975)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 739 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 3 critic

The first secretary to the Suarian king may have immunity from the consequences of committing murder, but Lt. Columbo is wilier than any foreign diplomat.



(teleplay), (story), 2 more credits »
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Title: A Case of Immunity (12 Oct 1975)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Hassan Salah
Rachman Habib
Police Commissioner
Brioni Farrell ...
Xenia (as Xenia Gratsos)
Barry Robins ...
The King
Dick Dinman ...
George Skaff ...
Nate Esformes ...
André Lawrence ...
Alafa (as Andre Lawrence)
Bill Zuckert ...
Capt. August
2nd Picketer
Harvey Gold ...
Jay Varela ...
Capt. Ortega


Columbo has to solve a crime at the embassy of a middle-east nation. The culture there is different, and the main suspects have diplomatic immunity. Also, to complicate matters, there is a student demonstration outside the gates, and the king is visiting the embassy. However, Columbo decides to investigate the matter in his own persistent way. Written by Maarten Hofman <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

king | embassy | murder | gate | legation | See more »


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Release Date:

12 October 1975 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Jeff Goldblum is an extra in the crowd demonstrating in the scene outside of the embassy. See more »


When Columbo is poured tea in the final scene, he holds the tea cup and saucer in his left hand, the handle of the tea cup turned towards his right hand. When the camera angle changes, he is seen holding the saucer in his right hand and immediately grabs the tea cup with his left hand to drink from it. See more »


Hassan Salah: Your presence here is a diplomatic affront. If you do not leave the legation in five minutes, I shall see that you are removed from the Los Angeles Police Department.
Lt. Columbo: I've solved the murder, sir.
Hassan Salah: What?
Lt. Columbo: I think we should talk about it right away.
See more »

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User Reviews

Though novel touches often ruin episodes, this is a surprisingly strong "Columbo"
3 February 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Hassan Salah (Hector Elizondo), first secretary to the King of Suaria, has a scheme for shifting power within his government. He tricks a naïve idealist (Sal Mineo), who is working in his legation, into helping him murder a beloved security officer (André Lawrence), rob the safe and make it look like the work of radicals. Lt. Columbo (Peter Falk) of the LAPD finds himself with a suspect who may have immunity from the consequences of his crime. But never underestimate our rumpled, redoubtable detective.

Considering how often novelties fail in this series, when the plots must stick to a strict formula to succeed, this is a surprisingly strong episode. Setting Columbo into the world of foreign diplomacy proves to be a good idea. The two murder schemes (yes, there's a second one) are interesting. Elizondo makes a good villain. And instead of stopping the story cold to insert some extraneous comic business, as far too many "Columbo" movies do, the comedy is well integrated into the plot.

Still, this won't completely satisfy fans. The made-up kingdom of Suaria requires a higher than usual suspension of disbelief; and the ending is both predictable and false. I don't believe Columbo's psychological trick would have worked so quickly and so well. The best thing in the episode is seeing Columbo repeatedly step on the Arab diplomat's robe—both figuratively and literally.

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